After a successful domestic trial demonstrating higher accuracy rates, China is now requiring COVID-19 anal swab testing for foreign travelers arriving from abroad.
COVID-19 Anal Swab Test Mandatory For Travelers Arriving in China
The New York Post reports that anal swab testing applies to all arriving foreign travelers and is mandatory. Reuters outlines limited exceptions. Testing hubs at Beijing and Shanghai Airports now direct arriving foreign travelers to testing areas to perform the anal swab prior to mandatory quarantine.
The test requires inserting a cotton swab three to five centimeters (one to two inches) into the rectum, then rotating it multiple times.
The move comes despite a recent plea from the Japanese government not to use anal swabs to test Japanese citizens. Japan claimed it caused mental anguish. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato stated at a news conference:
“Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain.”
But China says the tests are science-based and will continue. A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry added that the tests are “in accordance with the changes in the epidemic situation as well as relevant laws and regulations.”
Diplomats are on the of the exemptions. Several American diplomats and their families were subject to anal swab tests last month, sparking outrage and an official protest from the State Department. China backed down and no longer requires anal swabs for those with diplomatic passports. In a face saving move, China said the tests were administered in error in the first place.
The U.S. State Department voiced its commitment to preserving the “dignity” of American diplomats and their families. Will it lobby China to treat all American travelers with the same dignity?
Will the China anal test for travelers deter you from visiting China? China may have the unfettered right to require the testing of its choice, but are anal swabs the right move?